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Energy quarterly shows value of renewable energy

14 September 2012

The growth in renewable electricity generation from geothermal and wind energy in New Zealand is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in dry years, MBIE’s latest energy figures show.

The latest edition of the New Zealand Energy Quarterly has been released today, along with the energy supply, demand, price and greenhouse gas statistics for the June 2012 quarter.

MBIE’s Energy Information and Modelling team manager Bryan Field said very low rainfall in key hydro catchments during the first half of the year had reduced hydro generation to levels not seen since 2008. To make up the electricity shortfall, more coal and gas had to be burned – increasing greenhouse gas emissions to almost twice what they were for this quarter last year.

“However, New Zealand continues to see the benefits of increased diversity in its renewable energy portfolio,” Mr Field said.

“New plants commissioned in the last two years meant geothermal and wind generation combined met 18 percent of New Zealand’s electricity demand. During a similar dry period in 2008, they made up just 10 percent.

“This growth in non-hydro renewable energy has reduced the reliance on gas and coal over winter and during dry years. The lack of rain has seen gas emissions increase on last year, however, emissions are 25 per cent lower than they were in the June 2008 quarter.

Other highlights in this release include a 24 percent increase in domestic crude production and a 16 percent increase in gas production since the March quarter.

The New Zealand Energy Quarterly provides a quarterly update of energy statistics and trends on electricity generation; greenhouse gas emissions; the production and supply of oil, gas and coal; and petrol and diesel prices and importer margins.